The relevance of the study of this problem is due to the importance of developing students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language in the context of their ability to enrich their knowledge in the direction of their implementation in a certain field. In this regard, the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education is becoming one of the most promising methods of effective education. The following aspects are revealed in the article: The main characteristics of self-education in the study of a foreign language; Levels of reflective readiness for learning a foreign language; The manifestation of student reflection in the context of the analysis of one’s own cognitive activity; The possibilities of individual educational programs in the study of a foreign language on the basis of reflective activity; The role of the teacher in the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education. Moreover, the article identifies the types of reflection; the methodological grounds of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the form of certain components (axiological, systemic, reflective, creative and functional) are justified; the structural components of reflexive activity are revealed; the role and place of reflection as a factor in the self-organization of an autonomous study of a foreign language is shown; presents a set of necessary reflective skills; the functional aspect of reflection is presented in the form of situational reflection, retrospective reflection and perspective reflection.
Keywords: Foreign languagestudentsreflective readinessself-education
Various socio-economic transformations currently taking place in Russia have led to corresponding changes in the higher education system, including the teaching of a foreign language. And universities today are aimed at training such professionals, who, owning the self-organization of their cognitive activity, is ready to constantly enrich their knowledge. At the same time, forming clear personal goals (for example, in learning languages), they are ready for a creative approach in using all kinds of educational programs, being able, in this regard, to use their abilities to achieve success, in particular, relying on a reflexive readiness for self-education. And in this case, we are talking about the successful self-assertion of an individual in professional activity, taking into account his/her self-realization, which, one way or another, is due to how developed his/her reflexive readiness for self-education during the years of study at the university. For this, it is necessary to orient the future specialists towards the search for their own path of professional development; to convince them of how important good knowledge of a foreign language is for the growth of their professional skill, which often depends on the achievement of their personal improvement. That is why one can observe such a tendency as emphasizing the priority of the personal approach to education, which is especially associated with the study of languages. And here one of the conditions under which learning a foreign language will be productive is the orientation toward the development of reflective readiness for self-education.
The reality is such that the process of changes taking place in a particular professional environment is so rapid that the knowledge acquired at university often either loses its relevance or becomes insufficient for an individual in his/her further professional activity. In this regard, the problem of the need for constant self-education arises when for any specialist the following developed skills are necessary: The ability to acquire new knowledge; The ability to analyse the systematization of this knowledge; Adequate self-esteem of the actual level of one’s knowledge; The ability to plan one’s own educational trajectory, as well as reflect on the achievements of its results in order to timely make the necessary adjustments to it.
It should be noted that the current state of the general scientific methodology of teaching a foreign language is associated with various integration processes in education, which makes it possible to justify the existence of a holistic self-educational process, which, in fact, is provided only by the personality itself, and the result is embodied in its development. In this regard, one can distinguish such characteristics of self-education as: integrity, awareness, focus, independence, creative nature of activity, personal and professional significance, etc. All this helps to stimulate the individual’s readiness for professional self-consciousness, creative self-realization and successful professional socialization.
Thus, the training of a highly qualified specialist involves not only the organization of a high-quality development of fundamental knowledge and relevant practical skills, but also the development of the ability for self-realization and creativity on the basis of them. As for the analysis of ideas about the possibilities of developing students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language, here we can highlight the methodological basis for constructing a certain model. For example, the axiological component: the individual’s understanding of the essence of self-educational activity from the point of view of the value orientation to the profession; system component: contributes to the design stages of self-educational activities; reflective component: provides an understanding of the nature of self-educational activity; creative component: involves the individual being aware of himself as a creative individual; functional component: gives integrity to self-educational activities in the framework of specialist training. Hence, the relevance of the problem of self-education in teaching a foreign language is closely linked to the development of the reflective readiness of an individual to form his/her own competencies required by a modern competitive specialist.
Self-education is an independent cognitive activity of the individual, which includes the following components: Self-realization on the basis of the autonomy of the personality, the premise of which is the presence of his ability to know and the presence of self-awareness; Meeting the needs of the activities undertaken; Productive activity on the basis of awareness of cognitive needs during the formulation of the problem, creative search and discovery of something new; Specially organized amateur cognitive activities to achieve goals related to the process of self-development. In this regard, according to researchers, of particular importance is the question of the relationship of the autonomy of the personality and its self-education. It is free activity that is a prerequisite for an individual’s inner freedom, since it arises in the structure of cognitive needs, for example, to the study of languages. Based on this, it is possible to distinguish important components of an individual’s autonomy, which are represented in his/her purposeful independent activity. We attribute the following to these components: a) The knowledge of the opportunity to do so, and not otherwise; b) Coordination by an individual of the external necessity of his/her activity with internal conviction and personal interests; c) Manifestation of will; d) The desire for self-fulfillment and self-realization in the chosen type of activity (for example, mastery of a foreign language). Hence, the main prerequisite for the autonomy of the individual, and, consequently, for self-education, is the individual’s ability to understand this autonomy on the basis of self-consciousness.
As for the goal, it can be given to the individuals from the outside (for example, in the form of demands from the side of society) or produced by them. In the first case, the effectiveness of the implementation entirely depends on its internal acceptance by the individuals, when the proposed goal coincides with their motivational sphere. However, in self-educational activities, as a rule, the second version of goal setting is effective, since self-education is always a self-organized and self-governing process of cognition. Thus, self-organization is associated with the ability of a person to organize his/her activity, i.e. independently set the goal and objectives of the activity, choose methods for their achievement, determine his/her behaviour in time, carry out self-control, introspection and self-correction.
Proceeding from this, self-improvement can be attributed to the internal mechanism of self-awareness (its components are self-education and self-upbringing), which is an important aspect of the restructuring of consciousness, the essence of which is not just to gain new knowledge, to realize the value, purpose, program of activity, but in the fact that these new knowledge and skills nourish creative activity. Such an activity can be called a steady desire to learn a foreign language with a creative approach. Moreover, reflection is usually the central link in self-improvement. That is why this activity is defined as reflective activity, the structural components of which are: self-reflection (genesis), then self-knowledge (activity) follows and this ends with self-realization (result). And here it is the reflexive level of self-consciousness that stimulates the activity and independence of the individual, mediates the formation of the corresponding system of internal motives, ensures a steady inclusion in the process of self-education, activating and directing, thereby, self-educational activity.
Based on the foregoing, one should pay attention to two main characteristics of self-education: firstly, a deeply personal character (which leads to the consideration of the content, structure and process of self-education at the level of reflexive activity); secondly, purposefulness and systematic, which becomes possible only if the individual realizes the significance of the process of self-education. Thus, from a psychological point of view, self-education can be represented as a productive activity of individuals and their understanding the logic of this independent process from the point of view of posing a problem, carrying out a creative search and discovering new knowledge. Moreover, it is assumed that self-educational activity is carried out by individuals voluntarily, according to their own goals, which are associated, for example, with the study of a foreign language; and during this process they independently select language material; determine the strategy and tactics of its study; along the way, cognitive tasks, which can have a variable nature in their complexity; independently overcomes the contradictions associated with this; forms their own vision of a foreign language as a school subject; structures its worldview and related self-change on the basis of reflection.
The defining concept in the framework of student self-education is reflection, i.e. the conversion of consciousness to the activity being performed, its conversion to himself in order to identify his miscalculations for their further correction. Reflections on how to properly study any academic discipline, for example, “Foreign Language”, arise in students already at the initial stage of high school education and continue throughout the educational activity until they receive the appropriate qualification. Cognitive and constructive theories of learning are connected with this, which adhere to the point of view that the realization of what, how and why you study is an important prerequisite for a good mastery of knowledge. At the same time, awareness of the meaning of one’s own independent learning and significant successes in this begin as soon as the student learns the way to learn with maximum satisfaction. Moreover, through reflection, the actions performed and the experience gained are subjected to analysis and self-criticism, i.e. students reflect on their cognitive activity and evaluate what language knowledge they have already mastered and at what stage they are now in the formation of their language competencies. This can happen in relation to both specific educational tasks, and, in fact, educational actions, which, as a rule, do not develop simultaneously. Thus, by focusing on this, students get the opportunity to change their independent work in order to optimize it.
Currently, according to educational standards, the purpose of training is not knowledge itself, but a reflection of this language knowledge and, on this basis, language communication. For example, already in the first year students should have advanced knowledge about the structure, functionality and use of modern English. And in this regard, they should be able to reflect and analyse their knowledge differentially both in the oral and written sphere of communication; to be ready to independently develop their language competencies; be able to enhance their individual experience in foreign language communication. Students should reflectively, i.e. consciously rely on their “strengths”, minimizing their “weaknesses”, which allows the differentiating function of reflection in cognitive activity. So, for example, reflexivity allows students to highlight and fix certain qualities in their actions, thereby manifesting their capabilities. Due to differentiation, it becomes possible to develop each component of its linguistic potential. All this leads to the fact that self-control makes reflection a necessary quality of a future specialist.
It should be noted that reflection plays a determining role in relation to various professional abilities; therefore, the educational process at university should be organized in such a way that from the first year students’ reflection is formed not spontaneously, but purposefully. And here it is important to separate two levels of reflection: reflection on one’s own cognitive activity and reflection on the ability to organise foreign language communication. For example, during reflection, the student may be asked the following questions: “What did you want to get in the process of your activity?”, “What did you really get?”, “What are the coincidences and inconsistencies of your plans, expectations and real results?”, “In what do you see the reasons for the discrepancies?” All these questions are necessary in order for the results of reflection to become the basis for the student to plan the subsequent stages of cognitive activity. In this regard, we note the following points that emphasize the role of educational reflection in cognitive activity: Reflection is one of the main mechanisms for the development of the activity itself; Reflection is necessary when changing the conditions of cognitive activity, self-control and management of the process of assimilation of acquired knowledge and skills are carried out.
Thus, the reflective activity of students help them in developing the ability to see the problems of their own cognitive activity; modify it at the expense of its internal resources; make their own choice; take responsibility for their decisions. Hence, the development of reflection in cognitive activity becomes the primary task of becoming a future specialist.
In psychological and pedagogical literature, ideas have been accumulated on the reflective activity of the individual as part of self-education in the study of foreign languages. Based on the relationship of the methodology with linguistics, psychology and didactics, the problem of developing students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language is analysed in the works of Anisimov (1994); Bound, Keogh, and Walker (1985), Schon (1987). The conceptual foundations of the study of the problem of reflexive activity are considered in the works of Bizyaeva (1993), Krivosheev (1991), Schunk and Zimmerman (1998). A significant contribution to the development of the theory and methodology of teaching a foreign language in the framework of self-education was made by Brookfield (1985), Holec (1979), Little (1989). Problems of increasing the effectiveness of activating students in cognitive activity were investigated in the works of Bondarevskaya (2000), Grachev (2007), Kaloshina (2000). A great contribution to the study of psychological and linguistic features that determine the development of reflexive ability was made by such scientists as: Alulina (2005), Dickinson (1987), Jones (1998). With regard to teaching a second language, this problem was studied by methodologists Iskandarova (2000); Gardner and Lambert (1972), Littlewood (1984). The analysis of the features of professional self-education was carried out by Belykh (2004), Ivanova (2013); Kondrateva and Valeev (2015). Issues of personification of multicultural education are studied by Liver (2000); Nunan (1992); Wenden (1998). Methodological opportunities for teaching a foreign language are proposed by Nazarova and Valeev (2017), Golikova (2005). The psychological and pedagogical provisions on the integrative essence of the individual in the aspects of self-organization of foreign languages study were studied by O’Malley and Chamot (1990), Kato and Yamashita (2008); Benson (2001).
The problem we are considering involves the study of innovative educational resources for organising the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language in order to create a productive language environment for the formation of future competitive specialists).
Based on the problems of this study, the hypothesis can be considered the assumption that teaching a foreign language in higher education will be more effective if conditions are created for the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education; if reflection becomes a factor in the self-organization of an autonomous study of a foreign language; if special attention will be focused on the formation of the basic reflective skills of university students; if the role of the teacher in the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language will increase.
The following research questions were set in this study. What are the main aspects of self-education as a process of cognitive activity in the study of a foreign language? What are the levels of reflective readiness for learning a foreign language? How is student reflection reflected in the context of the analysis of one’s own cognitive activity? What are the possibilities of individual educational programs in the study of a foreign language on the basis of reflective activity? What is the role of the teacher in the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language?
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the study is to identify developing students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language.
Theoretical and empirical methods
To test the hypothesis, various methods were used that complement each other: theoretical analysis of psychological, pedagogical and methodological literature; generalization of experience in teaching English; analysis of programs and study guides in a foreign language; questioning and interviewing; students’ self-assessment of the level of development of the skills of using reflection in foreign language communication; written and oral survey, student testing.
Reflection as a factor in the self-organization of an autonomous study of a foreign language
At the present stage of development of various educational systems, reflection is beginning to be given much attention, since its development is important for the formation of professional qualities of a future specialist. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that reflexivity acts as a coordinating and organizing principle. And the degree of its formation is manifested in the degree to which students are able to coordinate and integrate all their qualities to increase the effectiveness of their cognitive activity. In this regard, we can propose several mechanisms that form the student’s educational reflection: Giving self-analysis of the completed educational task (for example: the correctness and consistency of using speech samples, the logic of the information presented in a foreign language and its justification); posing students questions to themselves (for example: “What did I learn new and useful in class? ”); independent changing by a student of a learning task to solve it in different ways; discussion of different ways of solving a problem from different points of view; opposition students’ judgments on the same issue and etc. These mechanisms can have several logical steps: in the beginning there is a feeling of difficulty; then it is specified and then its boundaries are determined; then an idea is formulated about a possible solution to the problem; further discussion on methods of action and further observations leading to the recognition or rejection, and then the development of alternative methods of action.
From the point of view of self-organization of an autonomous study of a foreign language, reflection is the following: This is a condition necessary for each participant in the learning process to see the entire organization of his own activity in this lesson in accordance with the goals and evaluate it; This is the identification and refinement of the results of activities in the lesson, taking into account the differences in approaches to solving the proposed training problems; This is an awareness of the need to find rational ways of doing things; This is a stage of reflection, when the information received in the lesson is analysed, interpreted, creatively processed by both the teacher and students, which is then combined into a common opinion; This is students’ determination of the degree of assimilation of their knowledge.
Thus, the role and place of reflection as a factor in the self-organization of an autonomous study of a foreign language is determined by the following:
Reflection is a factor in productive mental activity;
Reflection allows students to consciously regulate and control their cognitive activity both in terms of its content and ensuring its autonomy;
Reflection contributes to the processes of introspection, self-reflection and rethinking, thereby stimulating the processes of self-awareness;
Reflection increases the degree of intensity of an individual’s inner life, helping him/her to stabilize emotional mood and mobilize volitional potential in the direction of studying something new;
Reflection helps to cooperate with other participants in the study of a foreign language, to comprehend their level of knowledge of this language and, if necessary, to make the necessary correction in their knowledge in order to stimulate themselves to new ways of cognitive actions;
Reflection provides mutual understanding and coordination of actions of partners in the conditions of joint activities in the application of interactive methods of language learning.
The formation of the basic reflective skills of university students
According to various studies, reflection is not so much a statement of the presence or absence of the necessary professional qualities as stimulation of their development and strengthening. As for educational reflection, its basis is the process of self-determination of a person, in particular, in such areas as: The student’s ability to put into practice the entire set of knowledge and skills learned at the university; Willingness to create and develop new ways of activity leading to the success of the cognition process; The ability to comprehend and build one’s own educational trajectory through creating a self-image in the future; The ability to formulate an individual educational program, etc.
These directions, as a rule, determine the following types of reflection:
Intellectual reflection: aimed at understanding the actions performed by the student in the course of solving a problem situation;
Personal reflection: aimed at a critical understanding of oneself and others as subjects of activity;
Cooperative reflection: associated with the rethinking of knowledge about the structure and organization of collective interaction, in particular in a multicultural environment;
Communicative reflection: associated with the ability to comprehend the actions of another person.
These types of reflection suggest the formation of the following reflective skills:
The ability to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of one’s own activities;
The ability to rely in solving educational problems on the strongest sides of one’s intellectual potential;
The ability to find the causes of failures in the shortcomings of the organization of self-educational activities;
The ability to restructure one’s activities in accordance with the prevailing circumstances;
The ability to give a holistic analysis of the proposed educational topic before its study;
The ability to plan ways to organize one’s cognitive activities;
The ability to highlight interesting and unusual aspects of the topic;
The ability to organize communication in a foreign language;
The ability to self-expression;
The ability to self-regulation of one’s activities;
The ability to change one’s own vision of the topic under discussion
The ability to control and design one’s emotional state;
The ability to analyse the mental state of the participants in this communication;
The ability to analyse and regulate relations in the student community;
The ability to correct one’s own mistakes;
The ability to listen and hear and on this basis to build joint activities in the context of cooperation and partnership.
Thus, it is reflection as the ability of an individual to take a research position in relation to his/her cognitive activity, as well as to him/herself as a subject of its implementation, that allows him/her to analyse, comprehend and evaluate its effectiveness, and, therefore, to predict his/her further development on the basis of self-education.
Levels of reflexive readiness for learning a foreign language
Based on university practice, methodological teachers identify the following levels of students' reflexive readiness to learn a foreign language:
- Reflective readiness to learn a foreign language at a cognitive level: allows the student to be aware of the experience gained in all types of educational activities, regardless of its nature; at the same time, the acquisition of experience, depending on the regularity, can be stable, to some extent constant, as well as occasional, episodic in certain types of activity (one of the most frequent questions from the student is: “What else could I learn?”);
- Reflexive readiness to learn a foreign language at the affective (emotional) level: involves the inclusion of emotions that accompany the student's practical actions in the exercise of reflective activity, which can lead, in particular, to a feeling of confidence in success (one of the most frequent questions from the student: “How confident am I in my knowledge of this section of the training material? ”);
- Reflexive willingness to learn a foreign language at the volitional level: allows students to form a conscious regulation of their behaviour and activities, expressed in the ability to overcome internal and external difficulties in organizing, for example, foreign language communication (one of the most frequent questions from the student: “What knowledge am I missing for productive communication in a foreign language?”);
- Reflexive readiness to learn a foreign language at the activity level: promotes self-esteem by students of their own learning activities; allows them to correlate its purpose and the results obtained and notes the degree of their compliance; makes it possible to adjust the goals and methods of achieving them (one of the most frequent questions from the student: “What have I not used for the productivity of my self-education?”);
- Reflexive readiness to learn a foreign language at an effective level: it allows students to clarify the system of landmarks that they really rely on when performing a learning action, which gives them the opportunity to immediately filter out unnecessary actions (one of the most frequent questions from the student: “What actions could not be performed?”);
- Reflexive readiness to learn a foreign language on a personal level: it enables students to comprehend their own consciousness and actions; the most common ways of reflecting are expressing assumptions, doubts, questions during observation and analysis of their own knowledge, behaviour, as well as understanding of this behaviour by others (one of the most frequent questions from the student: “How do I look in my attempts to assert myself at this stage of group work over the language?”).
Thus, based on the foregoing, we can propose the following criteria for assessing the level of students’ reflexive readiness to learn a foreign language: activity and subject criteria, which, in turn, are characterized by certain indicators. So, the activity criterion includes such indicators as: completeness of operational actions; the transfer of a specific level of reflective readiness to perform another educational task. The subject criterion is characterized by the following indicators: the student’s satisfaction with his/her own cognitive activity; positive self-awareness of the student in the group; self-esteem of dynamics in mastering a foreign language.
The role of the teacher in the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language
Considering this aspect, we take into account that the task of the teacher is to support students in testing various ways of learning; motivate them through questions and tasks so that they constantly reflect, analyze and evaluate their cognitive, thereby developing a reflexive readiness for self-education. For the opportunity to manage the regulation of one’s own educational activities, the use of reflection comes to the rescue, which is indisputable with independent study of a foreign language. On the one hand, reflection allows you to develop independence, the ability to set goals and take responsibility for your learning activities, the ability to analyze and evaluate your academic success. On the other hand, reflection is a tool for autonomous language learning, which represents the accumulation of experience through individual achievements. Hence, the teacher’s task is to support students and promote their autonomy in the course of their development of language and personal competencies. Thus, the teacher’s task is to strengthen students’ motivation for self-education and encourage them to actively engage in creative activities while learning a foreign language. Based on this, reflection in the educational process determines the joint activity of the teacher and students, in which the personality of each student is placed at the centre of the learning process. Moreover, self-reflection as an internal understanding of the educational work done, awareness of its minuses and pluses is the basis of a student’s successful activity in which his/her goals for mastering a foreign language are achieved in the most acceptable ways. This means that the structure of a modern lesson must necessarily include such a stage as the reflection of educational activity. The difference from the traditional form of organisation of reflection in the lesson is that attention is paid not so much to the amount of knowledge gained, but to the learning process itself, i.e. ways to accomplish the learning task and awareness of the difficulties encountered during its implementation.
In this regard, it is advisable for the teacher to use the following types of reflection: reflection of mood and emotional state (this is important at the beginning of the lesson in order to establish emotional contact with the group and at the end of the activity); reflection of the content of educational material (this is important to identify the level of students’ awareness of the content of the studied material); reflection of activity (this is important for students to understand ways of working with educational material in order to find the most rational ways); reflection of the achievement of the goal (this is important to focus students on their problems when studying the topic). At the same time, when choosing this or that type of reflection, the teacher should always take into account the purpose of the lesson, the content and difficulties of the teaching material, the type of the lesson, teaching technologies and methods, the psychological characteristics of students and their cognitive abilities in mastering a foreign language. All of the above allows us to conclude that the use of techniques that allow reflection in a foreign language lesson can induce students to assume responsibility in the course of educational activity and make it more effective and motivated.
Possibilities of individual educational programs in the study of a foreign language on the basis of reflective activity
When considering the possibilities of individual educational programs in the study of a foreign language on the basis of reflexive activity, it is important to bear in mind that their structure, while providing training, should be aimed primarily at the student’s self-education and self-development. Based on this, it is desirable that these programs include a meaningful component (involves the development of the student’s awareness of the individual process of cognition and the importance of fixing knowledge of his/her own “ignorance”); a corrective component (involves correction, taking into account the teacher’s advice on learning tasks on the topics being studied); a time component (assumes a student’s program of action, taking into account the fixation of the general term for completing educational tasks and the prospects for independent cognitive activity). At the same time, it is important to note that the practice of using individual educational programs in higher professional education means the relationship between the student’s personal priorities (goals, plans and preferences) and the educational opportunities of this university (mechanisms for the effective implementation of these individual educational programs). This is the fact that the university itself is able to offer students all kinds of models for individual educational programs, which include the following components: a target component (education in accordance with state standards, including the motives and needs of the individual); a substantive component (academic disciplines are interdisciplinary to meet the needs of students); a technological component (the university offers varied educational technologies and methods of teaching a foreign language); a diagnostic component ( provides systematic monitoring of students’ assimilation of knowledge and the formation of their competencies). Thus, the goal of individual educational programs is to provide each student with the opportunity to acquire knowledge, individual information and organizational support for their systematization and control of learning. The significance of these programs lies in the fact that the use of this educational resource means the creation of an operational format for assessing, forming and developing individual (including professional and linguistic) abilities of students, their values and attitudes to the profession. The main thing is that the construction of an individual educational program should be subject to the following principles: An individual’s awareness of the prospects and opportunities for participation in his/her own education; The flexibility and dynamism of this educational program in accordance with the requirements of a modern specialist; The partnership nature of the work of the teacher and student. On this basis, individualization of the program and personal work with students promotes the activation of all mechanisms of perception and processing of information by them. At the same time, the individual pace and volume of educational work on the language also activates the cognitive activity of young people, motivating them to active creative work related to the language. And for this, an individual educational program involves the following: Flexibility in the terms of studying the discipline; Minimum acceptable educational standard and options for its expansion; Modular training opportunities; Alternation of various forms of work on the language, etc. Thus, as the university practice shows, individual educational programs implement a differentiated educational route, which can become a kind of model for students to achieve their personal goals.
Analysis of the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language showed that the formation of students’ readiness for self-education in the context of reflection of this process acquires the status of an important educational resource at the university, which involves solving problems such as: Creating conditions for students to manifest reflections of their cognitive activity; The cultivation of reflection as the main factor in the self-organization of an autonomous study of a foreign language; Focusing on the formation of the basic reflective skills of university students; Providing conditions for real individualization of the educational process.
The problem of reflection in cognitive activity is especially vivid because, having known its structure and its features, one can reasonably approach the problem of solving the autonomy of the cognitive process. In accordance with this, having comprehended and explored the role of reflection in this issue, we can work to improve student consciousness at all stages of teaching a foreign language. Only in this case it is possible to accelerate the process of learning a foreign language; to improve the quality of assimilation of the material; to form independent work skills; to activate cognitive processes; to develop linguistic and communicative competence, etc.
At the same time, the study showed that reflexive readiness for self-education refers to both theoretical and practical abilities, since reflection embraces both cognitive reflection and specific practical actions. And the potential of reflection is that it increases the focus of learning; enhances motivation to learn a foreign language; activates teaching methods; develops reflective skills of intellectual work, etc. And the main strategy of the teacher should be to create conditions that ensure the acquisition of reflective knowledge by students; their interested attitude to reflective activity; willingness to correct their cognitive interests in order to increase cognitive potential, etc. Hence, considering the students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language, we can say that this represents an independent cognitive activity of young people, presented as: The principle of autonomous activity; self-organized linguistic and personal development; Creative self-realization based on language competencies; Way of professional socialization in a multicultural environment. In this regard, functionally reflection can be represented as situational reflection (provides direct self-control of students’ behaviour in the current educational situation, when they analyze what is happening and coordinate their actions on this basis); retrospective reflection (manifested in the students’ tendency to analyze the academic work already completed by them with the aim of assessing it with a future perspective); perspective reflection (manifested in the analysis of upcoming activities; includes an idea of the progress of this activity, its planning, the choice of the most effective ways of its implementation, as well as forecasting its possible results).
In the course of the study, we came to the conclusion that reflection is one of the student’s self-development engines, helping him/her emotionally review and consciously evaluate achievements and miscalculations when learning a foreign language. With regard to the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education, in this direction it is necessary to carry out purposeful and systematic work to develop professional reflection at all levels of the continuing education system, which should contribute to improving the quality of knowledge, skills of future specialists and, on this basis, to increase their need in self-education. Reflexive readiness for self-education must be carried out holistically and systematically, in all its aspects and manifestations, taking into account the individual personality characteristics of the student as a future specialist and the specifics of the chosen profession. At the same time, the development of the students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language should be intensified during the entire educational and vocational training at the university, when students not only master theoretical knowledge and practical skills in their chosen specialty, but also master the methods of self-education and self-improvement. Hence, there is a need for the development of reflective creative thinking, which should contribute to the activation of cognitive activity of students and their orientation to increase their professional competence, one of the components of which is a good knowledge of a foreign language today. So, for example, reflection in the study of a foreign language is a means of critical perception of socio-cultural information, critical interpretation and analysis of new knowledge, formation of one’s own attitude and choice of alternative solutions to various problems related to the socio-cultural situation.
We assign an important role in the development of students’ reflexive readiness for self-education in the framework of teaching a foreign language to university teachers, who themselves must have a high level of reflective readiness for teaching a foreign language and have reflective technologies for solving educational and professional tasks in order to qualitatively teach their students. Moreover, the organisation of reflexive activity is not an end in itself; it represents the preparation of students for conscious internal reflection, i.e. development of such important qualities as independence, self-criticism, adequacy of self-esteem, etc. Hence, the process of development of reflection should be multifaceted, since the student’s activity is assessed not only by him/herself, but also by people around him/her. In this regard, the teacher should do the following: Discuss with the students the results of self-assessment and together set clear and achievable learning goals; Use feedback to help students identify their next steps and how to complete them; Help each student to look at him/herself as a time-conscious person, as on the knowing complexity of this world, as an active in the study of various sciences. Then the result of the development of the students’ readiness for self-education will be their personal growth, the objectivity of knowledge about themselves, an active life position and, ultimately, a reflexive readiness for self-education.
The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of
Kazan Federal University.
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23 January 2020
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Teacher, teacher training, teaching skills, teaching techniques
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Valeev, A. A., & Khuziahmetov*, A. N. (2020). Development Of Students’ Reflexive Readiness For Self-Education In Teaching A Foreign Language. In & R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education- IFTE 2019, vol 78. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 554-567). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.01.61